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Today's copyright and trademark laws inhibit creativity

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  • Today's copyright and trademark laws inhibit creativity

    I see many problems, but the solution is not so clear, since I do think creative people should have some control over how their work is used and be compensated when others make a profit from their work.

    Some examples:
    The musician who wants to use snippets of broadcast newscasts in a song can't due to the cost of acquring the rights.

    Folk music has a long tradition of making small changes to existing songs-such as a minor change to the melody or the words. Now this practice is only available to artists who can research and acquire the rights.

    Many artists using trademarked or copyrighted images as social commentary have been sued or threatened with lawsuits.

    Some suggestions:
    Establish arbitrary thesholds for permitted use. For example, allow audio samples if they are under one second in length.

    Establish a mechanism so that when a copyright or trademark infringement claim is made, a preliminary hearing, without lawyers, is held to determine the validity of the plaintiff's complaint. If handled properly this would help even the playing field so that a well-financed corporation can not bully a small time artist with a bogus claim that is too expensive for the artist to fight.

    Do not allow extension of copyrights beyond the life of the creator. I do not think that the relatives of an artist deserve compensation for work that they did not perform.
    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

    My music: http://www.oranjproductions.com

    The first website dedicated to the the baritone guitar: http://www.thebaritoneguitar.com

  • #2
    I find this argument to be pretty illogical. The fact that you cannot use other people's creative works *encourages* creativity, because you have to create unique works.
    Dean Roddey
    Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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    • #3
      Geez, Truth. I can't really disagree more with every single one of your points, to the point I can't even address them. Just take everything you wrote, write the opposite, and that's how I think.
      Music, thoughts, stuff, and... I guess that's all

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      • #4
        I think a better title for the thread would be "Today's copyright and trademark laws inhibit proffit off of others." It is the same arguments used by people that want to sample songs and use the loops in their "origional" creations.
        My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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        • #5
          You folks disagreeing with my proposition did not address the use of copyrighted and trademark content for social commentary purposes. For example the early 1970s poster showing Disney characters having sex and taking drugs.

          I guess you guys don't like any rap or electronic dance music. I hear more creativity in much of these genres' creative use of samples than I do in most rock or country music's constant recycling of chord progressions and lyrical themes. Can you really argue that another song about a cheating lover sung over a I-IV-V progression is more original and creative than a dance song using a unique combination of sound bites from films, TV shows, old records, radio news etc? It is also worth noting that many musicians, such as James Brown, had their careers boosted because of the use of samples of his records.

          There is also the folk and comic tradition of parody songs, answer songs and local variations of songs. Would Allen Sherman or Weird Al have been able to do their parodies in today's legal environment without a battery of lawyers?

          Collage in the visual arts has been widely used since at least the early 20th century Dada movement. Should only those with access to lawyers be allowed to make collages?

          Another example of copyright laws inhibiting creativity is the accidental or incidental inclusion of trademarks on signs and T-shirts that may appear in a photo, film or video. High end productions go to great lengths to avoid the inclusion of any such items. Since our environment constantly surrounds us with copyrighted and trademark content it is impossible to do a documentary of someone walking down an urban street without including trademarks. The law theoretically requires that any artist in any media depicting the real world obtain permission from dozens of trademark and copyrighted holders.

          I don't support piracy or plagarism, but I don't see anyone being harmed by the minor use of copyrighted and trademarked content in other people's work.
          "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

          My music: http://www.oranjproductions.com

          The first website dedicated to the the baritone guitar: http://www.thebaritoneguitar.com

          Comment


          • #6
            For example the early 1970s poster showing Disney characters having sex and taking drugs.


            I get the joke, but it's not something that should be legal.

            There is also the folk and comic tradition of parody songs, answer songs and local variations of songs. Would Allen Sherman or Weird Al have been able to do their parodies in today's legal environment without a battery of lawyers?


            Yes. Parody is well recognized as a protected type of speech and has stood up to many challeges as I understand it.


            Another example of copyright laws inhibiting creativity is the accidental or incidental inclusion of trademarks on signs and T-shirts that may appear in a photo, film or video. High end productions go to great lengths to avoid the inclusion of any such items.


            This is purely for their on comfort and sometimes misunderstanding. They have nothing to fear about this. As I understand it, this is something that has withstood plenty of challenges and no one with any common sense would sue you over it. Of course some people don't have any common sense, but that has nothing to do with copyright law and highly litgious people can sue you over anything.
            Dean Roddey
            Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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            • #7
              The thread title is actually fairly accurate in my view, but the specific points in the first post are not the real problem. Today's copyright laws have evolved as a form of interpretive dance designed to guarantee that Mickey Mouse and several other iconic images never enter the public domain.

              Copyrights need to expire at some point. Read some Lawrence Lessig.
              Music for your busy day.

              All the info you need.

              Be my friend?

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              • #8
                The costs of obtaining rights to a 2-bar loop or whatever are not prohibitive.

                Doing a parody of a song is perfectly legal and, in fact, protected.

                And you can do all these things without spending a dime if you choose not to release it. And if you do release it, the costs are not prohibitive.

                I like electronic music, hip-hop, rap, and other stuff, and regularly used a sampler, as well as experimental music, which uses a lot of samples. I am not clear as to why you feel this inhibits creativity.

                Of course, the most creative thing you could possibly do is create your own loops, your own rhythms, your own chord progressions, your own textures, your own arrangements, your own everything. That's the ultimate in freedom, and there's never been a better time in musical history than now to seize the moment and create something really great.
                Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                • #9
                  Today's copyright laws have evolved as a form of interpretive dance designed to guarantee that Mickey Mouse and several other iconic images never enter the public domain.


                  I have to ask... Other than Chinese t-shirt manufacturers making yet still more money off of the backs of the US without even breaking the law not to pay us, what cultural good is Mickey Mouse becoming public domain going to achieve?
                  Dean Roddey
                  Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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                  • #10
                    I was a little puzzled by that as well. I'm not sure why it's great that Mickey Mouse would become public domain. What's the rule on that anyway? Is it something like 75 years, and more if the appropriate party chooses to extend it, or something else?
                    Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                    • #11
                      Sirs,

                      I represent the Amalgamated Phoneme Acquisition Group, LLC (APAG). I have been asked by my clients to notify you that you must cease and desist in the abusive use and abrogation of our trademarked property, the word "the".

                      APAG has owned the rights to all spoken and written forms of this word since March 15, 2004, and is now in the process of filing retroactive torts to recover damages from any and all users of this word beginning at the forementioned date.

                      This notice is to formally inform you that if you persist in your use of legally owned APAG property you will find yourself subject to civil action with triple damages payable to APAG.

                      Sincerely,
                      Hugh Lewis Dewey, Attorney
                      of the law firm
                      Dewey, Fukem and Howe, PC

                      P.S. APAG has provided provisional permission for our firm to make use of the word 'the' only for the purpose of pursuing their interests in protecting their trademark. Accordingly, should you have occasion to make any sort of reproduction of this document, any and all occurences of 'the' must be redacted in said reproductions, including derivative forms of the word, such as may appear in these and similar words: them, they, another and mother.

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                      • #12
                        Perhaps we need this:


                        http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
                        First kill the goose by refusing to feed it , then blame it for dying and not giving anymore gold eggs


                        Professionalism is an attitude and , not a possesion that you own forever once you have acheived something.



                        "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

                        Albert Einstein


                        .

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                        • #13
                          I have to ask... Other than Chinese t-shirt manufacturers making yet still more money off of the backs of the US without even breaking the law not to pay us, what cultural good is Mickey Mouse becoming public domain going to achieve?


                          It's not neccesarily Mickey. The thing is that obviously they can't create a special copyright category for Mickey Mouse only, or for creations that become so popular as to be transcendant. So the law gets manipulated to protect a few corporate interests, but the law applies to everything.

                          Just as a for instance, would liberalizing copyright durations lead to some new repertoire for symphony orchestras? Are the orchestras suffering because they play the same warhorse pieces every season with no budget for performing newer works because of the need to pay fees for a copyright that should have expired under the earlier rules? Would the listening public be better served to hear something besides Haydn #93 for the six billionth time?

                          And as for Mickey specifically, there's a difference between a trademark and a copyright.
                          Music for your busy day.

                          All the info you need.

                          Be my friend?

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                          • #14


                            Geez, Truth. I can't really disagree more with every single one of your points, to the point I can't even address them. Just take everything you wrote, write the opposite, and that's how I think.
                            Same here. Truth needs a polarity inverter.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Would the listening public be better served to hear something besides Haydn #93 for the six billionth time?


                              Probably also not a good example. Very little of the listening public goes to see symphonic music, and to the degree that they do manage to get some of the hoi polloi in, I imagine that they'd tell you that the old standards tend to be the things that pull them in.

                              If new composers charge more to play their pieces than anyone can afford, no one will play them and it will be self defeating. There is a natural feedback cycle involved that tends to naturally deal with any discrepancies. The composer wants his or her stuff played, and will adjust to what the market can bear.
                              Dean Roddey
                              Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, LTD

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